Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.
napa wineries reopen
Tasting room sign at Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley.

Napa Valley wineries have started to reopen their tasting rooms...

The post Napa wineries start to reopen for visitors appeared first on Decanter.


napa wineries reopen
Tasting room sign at Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley.

Napa Valley wineries have started to reopen their tasting rooms...

The post Napa wineries start to reopen for visitors appeared first on Decanter.

napa wineries reopen
Tasting room sign at Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley.

Napa wineries and wine bars have been allowed to reopen for visitors after several weeks of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, said that wineries, bars and hotels were among a range of businesses that could reopen across the state, if local county officials were happy for them to do so.

While strict safety guidelines will mean a new-look tasting experience, the move was quickly embraced by the wine sector, which has suffered from the loss of tasting room revenue and restaurant sales.

‘Our wineries are excited to reopen and welcome guests,’ said Bobby Koch, president of the California Wine Institute.

Stony Hill Vineyard, near to in St-Helena in Napa Valley, said on Twitter, ‘We’re thrilled to open our doors again beginning Tuesday, June 9. Book an appointment online or give us a call.

‘We’ll be offering the same warm hospitality as before, with some new health and safety precautions. We can’t wait to have you back.’

Nearby Corison Winery also said its tasting room was back open. ‘Today (9 June) is our first day open for visitors and it feels great,’ co-owner and winemaker Cathy Corison told Decanter.com. ‘Wine is for sharing.’

She added, ‘We had months to get used to the idea of masks and distancing and to work out protocols to keep everyone safe. Luckily, we have lots of outdoor space, which is making it fairly easy to adapt. We are offering the same three experiences.’

Tom Gamble, owner of Gamble Family Vineyards, said that meeting wine lovers and customers is what it’s all about. ‘These human interactions are our nourishment and what drew us to farming grapes and producing wine in the first place,’ he said.

‘We have always functioned “by appointment only” for our members, and are thrilled to welcome them back to our winery. Our staff has been trained on all of the necessary precautions to ensure experiences that are both safe and memorable.’

Some wineries opened a few days earlier. Castello di Amorosa winery said it reopened on 6 June, but that advance appointments were required and guest groups were limited to six people.

Detailed health and safety guidelines issued by California’s health department include face masks for tasting room staff, prioritising outdoor seating, maintaining a six-foot distance between groups, disposable menus, health screenings on arrival and frequent disinfection of surfaces.

The Wine Institute said it had released new health and safety protocols for tasting rooms a month ago, to allow wineries to plan ahead.

It added, ‘Guests are advised to call wineries in advance to plan and make reservations for visits.’

A spokesperson for Napa Valley Vintners previously told Decanter.com that Napa County officials have allowed wineries to temporarily expand outdoor tasting space.

Some wineries in neighbouring Sonoma County had already reopened, following guidance that they could do so if serving sit-down meals outdoors.

As of 7 June, California had reported 131,319 cases of Covid-19, and 4,653 deaths.

Updated at 9:30am UK time on 10 June 2020, to include extra comments from Cathy Corison and Tom Gamble.


See also: 

California wineries prepare for visitors and a new normal

Mayacamas: A producer profile


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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Laurel Gray Vineyards

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